DFM stumbles to hit new five-week low

Jeffrey Singer (SUPPLIED)

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) fell again yesterday to destroy the fruits of Wednesday's brief rally, while Abu Dhabi largely held its ground.

The DFM's General Index dropped 0.69 per cent to 5,558 points, to a new five-week low after just Dh659 million of shares had been traded.

"There was some accumulation yesterday, but the end of the week meant some brokers closed credit positions and the market was pretty flat overall," said Sherif Abdul Khalek, Beltone Financial Institutional Trading manager.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) prospered in comparison, slipping 0.14 per cent to 5,056 points, while the capital's turnover topped Dh1.9 billion.

Newbie Methaq Islamic Insurance Company accounted for Dh1.2bn as speculators hussled for instant profits. It closed up 1.67 per cent to Dh5.87.

"Dubai was disappointing yesterday, especially considering its close on Wednesday when there was strong buying in the likes of Emaar, Dubai Islamic Bank and DFM Company," said Ayman El Saheb, Darahem Financial Brokerage director of operations.

"But yesterday was all about Methaq. Whoever is the person manipulating this stock is a genius because it moved in an 84 fils [17 per cent] range and someone made a lot of money yesterday. All eyes will be on a stock with that much volatility and so the rest of the market was pretty boring."

Back in Dubai, there was little to cheer as the four largest stocks – Emaar, DFM Company, Dubai Islamic Bank and du – declined. Emaar was worst hit, slipping 1.76 per cent to retreat to Dh11.10, despite being the most active stock in both volume and cash terms.

Air Arabia was another heavy trader, but it is struggling to make any headway and closed flat on Dh1.90 to leave it down 6.9 per cent since June 1.

Dubai Islamic Insurance provided one notable bright spot, surging 7.24 per cent to Dh3.70 after it announced foreigners would be able to hold up to 15 per cent of its shares from Sunday. Arabtec was another to escape the gloom, posting a 2.5 per cent rise.

"The only good thing was we didn't lose too many points although we have definitely broken the 5,600 support and even fell through 5,500 earlier this week," said Saheb.

In Abu Dhabi, Taqa's woes intensified after heavy selling forced it down 5.3 per cent to Dh3.20, its worst close since April 15. It was the second most active stock on the ADX.

"Investors are selling Taqa shares to fund their purchase of the company's convertible bonds, which have a face value of Dh2 and can be converted into shares. This is a huge discount compared to the price of the share," a trader at Al Mal Capital told Dow Jones.

Waha Capital climbed 1.89 per cent to Dh2.70, while Aldar Properties recouped some of Wednesday's losses, rising 1.53 per cent to Dh13.40, just shy of its all-time record.

DP World's renaissance proved short lived after it fell 1.1 per cent to $0.90, following a fleeting rally on Wednesday.

The decline came despite better than average volumes as 4.2 million of the company's shares changed hands. Depa dropped 1.99 per cent to $1.48.


Jeffrey Singer to take over as CEO of DIFX

Senior Nasdaq OMX official Jeffrey Singer will take over as chief executive officer of the Dubai International Financial Exchange on July 1, the DIFX's board of directors announced yesterday.

Current Chief Executive Per E Larsson is leaving to accept another senior position in the region, following two years that saw the creation of the partnership between the Nasdaq OMX Group and the DIFX.

"In the last two years, we have seen the development of the DIFX as a bridge between the capital markets of East and West, attracting issuers and investors from around the world. I look forward to working with Jeff on building on the growth and success achieved," DIFX Chairman Soud Bala'awy said in the statement.

Singer joins the DIFX from Nasdaq OMX where he was senior vice-president and head of international, responsible for the exchange's global business development with a primary role of managing relationships with companies outside of the Americas.